A new programme of research, led by Fair By Design and the Money Advice Trust, explores the issue of inclusive design in credit, insurance, energy and other essential services markets. The Inclusive Design in Essential Services project will publish two reports in 2020 on how regulators and businesses can adopt inclusive design strategies in their work.
UKRN, with the FCA, Ofcom, Ofgem, Ofwat and CCWater, have worked together to develop a set of performance scorecards to measure the customer experience across key sectors. You can now access the scorecards for financial services, communications, energy, and water in one place – with consumer metrics covering service quality, price differentials and satisfaction levels.
StepChange Debt Charity’s latest statistics reveal that demand for debt advice is at its highest ever, with many clients struggling to pay bills for essential services, especially younger and vulnerable consumers.
The report of the ESAN Conference 2018 with conference slides and videos of the presentations where available have now been published. Thank you to everyone who attended and special thanks for the BT team who hosted the event. Please continue to share your thoughts of what would really help consumers of essential services on #ESANdebate.
On 18 January Citizens Advice published the findings of its research looking at how energy suppliers could effectively signpost and refer vulnerable customers to third parties, such as debt advice and support services.
The research found that fewer than 1 in 4 consumers believe that their energy supplier had ever offered them help and support, with fewer than one in ten being able to recall being signposted or referred to a third party organisation.
The best practice guide is designed to help energy suppliers signpost and refer vulnerable consumers to the right source of help.
On Wednesday 2 November, 18 speakers and 92 delegates came together at the iconic BT Tower for the ESAN Conference: How can the consumer voice be better heard in the regulation of essential services? “Fantastic speakers, great content, excellently chaired” #esanevent
Ofgem is to begin a new process of horizon scanning. It wants to better understand what is driving system change, the likely impacts on consumers and the implications for regulation. This information will help it set priorities for the evolution of regulatory arrangements. Ofgem has issued an open letter, explaining how to get involved, asking stakeholders to register their interest at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The UK Regulators’ Network has today launched an advisory leaflet to help ensure vulnerable consumers get the help they need to access essential services.
Produced through a collaborative effort between Ofgem, Ofcom, Ofwat, the ORR and the CAA, the leaflet highlights a range of free support services offered by utility, telecommunications and public transport providers.
The UKRN website gives details of how to get braille, audio and large print versions of the leaflet.
Ofgem’s consultation on proposals to improve outcomes for prepayment customers ends 25 February 2016.
The proposals are designed to:
- help PPM customers to access more competitive tariffs
- address the costs consumers can face, ensuring these do not fall disproportionately on those least able to afford them, and
- ensure that PPM customers are treated fairly by their energy providers.
On 17 December 2015, Ofgem published its final proposals for the Priority Services Register, considered integral to its consumer vulnerability strategy. The aim is to ensure that existing services relating to safety, access and communication in the energy market meet the needs of consumers in vulnerable situations.
The consultation closes on 18 February 2016.